Who doesn’t love the sound of crawling the Eastside, exploring artist’s studios, and being immersed in culture, art, and community. Sounds like a fantastic way to spend an evening with a friend. An adult friend. Have you ever attempted the Eastside Cultural Crawl with a kid!? Or multiple children….. it can be daunting. And terrifying. And most likely stressful. But it doesn’t have to be!
PS. Read to the end of this post to see how to enter to WIN a portrait session with IMAGES BY BETHANY!
I’ve done a bit of ground work for you to help with your Eastide Cultural Crawl WITH CHILDREN experience. Here are my top tips!
• Go prepared! I hate this tip… I’m such a “fly by the seat of my pants” kinda human, but it honestly is the best tip I could give, and every artist I spoke to agreed. Take a look at the East Side Cultural Crawl website. It’s packed with all of the information that you will need, including bathrooms 😉 Maps, live demo times, etc… Remember that studio’s participating in the Crawl will have signs, balloons, and/ or the black crow!
• Plan “treat” stops… Matchstick Coffee in Chinatown, The Wilder Snail in Strathcone, Uprising Breads on Venables, or JJbean on Victoria are all great spots. Keeping your kids well fed, rested, and relaxed will definitely improve your Crawl-ing experience.
• Avoid peaks hours. The artists I spoke with told me that Thursday evening is a slower night, however if you show up first thing Saturday or Sunday, you should avoid most of the traffic too!
• Make a purchasing plan. You know you’re going to want to buy some amazing piece of art and your kids are going to want one of everything cool they see. So make a plan, for yourself and with them. When I know we are going somewhere that my daughter will be enticed to HAVE EVERYTHING, we have a discussion before hand. She can pick one thing. Or she can use her own money, but just this amount. Or whatever your plan is, decide before hand. This avoids meltdowns… usually 😉
• Seek out the kid friendly artists. The artists during the Crawl totally expect children to be coming through, and enjoy that kids get to be immersed in art, however there are some artists that will definitely be a bit more appealing to kids. Here are a few that I recommend:
Terminal City Glass Co-op : Glass blowing! Super rad for kids to watch. There will be live demo’s throughout the weekend, check out their website for details.
Melk Art and Design : These amazing artists will be hosting a workshop for kids aged 3-14. Saturday and Sunday from noon until 3pm, an artist will guide kids in the creation of a piece of screen printed art. Find Melk at 936 Clark Dr.
Straight Line Designs : Enter the studio of the longest standing artist at 1000 Parker St. and be transported into a magical world of Suess-like furniture. Jud Beaumont is a friendly, talented soul who loves a challenge and creates the most stunning pieces of furniture art. Kids LOVE his stuff and of course the carrot car, which they are allowed to sit in!
Dahlhaus Art : One of my favourite Vancouver Artists, Heather is a mom too and totally loves sharing her art with kids. Save your pennies for this shop friends, you will not want to walk out without a mug or vase or a pitcher or one of everything!
Studio 126 : Custom made, reclaimed wood furniture and art exhibition space in the heart of Chinatown. Get to know the beautiful family behind Studio 126 and learn more about their workshops and events.
Leather Monsters : Your kids are going to loose their… you know what. These custom plush monsters are freaking fantastic! Each loving, handmade, they come with a story, and last a lifetime. They aren’t just for kids… you might want one of your own 😉
Westerly Handmade Shoes : Custom, gorgeous shoes… you’ll want to check these out.
Bueno Style : Christi York sells beautiful vintage, repurposed Jewelry.
A Cagey Bee : The sweetest, quirkiest art. Kids will gravitate towards it and you might want to pick up a few items as gifts.
• Talk to your kids about touching! Some art is not meant to be touched at all, some can be touched, but only with one finger. Other art can be totally loved, hugged, sat on, climber over… kids should be prepared for this. Let them know that every artist is different and has different rules, so it’s best to avoid touching, unless otherwise stated.
• Don’t bring strollers! As best as you can, keep your hands free… to you know… stop your kid from playing volleyball with a hand-blown glass sculpture. Wear your babies! Also a lot of the houses in Stratchona have stairs, small hallways, etc…
• Parker St. building and Mergatroid are great – but they can be the busiest. 1000 Parker St. is super rad to explore. I love wandering it’s random halls and stairways, you can make a game of it with your kids, but if you go into this building, make sure you keep them close to you. It’s huge.
• End your experience (or start) at Strange Fellows… because beer. They have set up a rad beer garden for adults, but in the front tasting room, minors can hang out too.
I want to see photos of you experiencing the Crawl with your kids!! If you attend the crawl, snap some pics of your kids and post them to Instagram. Tag me and Peaks and Harbours, using the hashtag #KidsLoveArtToo, and you’ll be entered to WIN a Family Mini Portrait Session and matted 5×7 print, with me, Images by Bethany.
You must follow by Images by Bethany and Peaks and Harbours on Instagram to be entered to win. Also, if you share my contest post on your Insta. feed, you’ll get another entry 😉